Manawi Highlights Challenges Ahead Of President Vote

Saturday, July 21, 2012
Kabul (BNA) The Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Wednesday said next presidential and provincial council elections would be held as scheduled in line with the Afghan constitution, despite problems and challenges.
Addressing a consultative meeting with political leaders in Kabul, IEC head Fazal Ahmad Manawi said there were many hurdles in the way of the presidential ballot, but the problems could be overcome with people’s cooperation.
“IEC will do its bit to ensure transparency, which doesn’t mean the elimination of all problems,” he said, adding the issues they had to contend with during the last elections remained unresolved. He feared the problems could increase.
He identified the lack of data, such as the exact number of voters, and insecurity as some of the major challenges to the credibility of the 2014 presidential election.
“If we don’t discuss and resolve these issues today, security measures alone will not help make the polls a success,” he observed, recalling insecurity had been a major problem during the last presidential vote.
Hinting that the poll panel would not be able to hold fair elections due to insecurity, Manawi said the presidential ballot would take place in line with the constitution and there was no need for any change in the timetable.
Article 61 of constitution says:” the presidential term expires on May 21 on completion of the fifth year after the elections. Elections for a new president should be held within 30-60 days before the end of the presidential term.”
The meeting involving representatives of various political parties was the first of its kind.

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